Tony Fretton

Building with 2 Duplex Apartments & Children’s Theatre . GRONINGEN

© Christian Richters

Tony Fretton Architects . + divisare

A very small site and a high wall on one boundary constrained the design, but we were able to produce two generously planned duplex apartments with the living room above the bedrooms, entered from a shared lobby at street level. The building was made with the standard Dutch components of natural white insulating stucco and timber windows, so that it was both economical and at ease with the 18th century classical buildings around it. At second floor level the façade steps back from the street to align with the buildings next to it and create a balcony for the lower flat overlooking the street. Windows all around the top floor provide a panoramic view of Groningen and are gold in colour to rhyme with the openwork gilt church spire behind the building. At street level the entrance lobby is arranged as a domestic room with windows onto the street and a storage cupboard for bicycles, that is a replica 17th century Dutch cabinet.